Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during an Outbreak

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to help protect personnel against health and safety risks in a working environment.

Therefore in healthcare or social care situations this could be while cleaning using hazardous chemicals or when directly dealing with patients to prevent the transfer of bodily fluids, germs or infection risk.  The PPE creates a barrier from the harmful chemical or infectious agent therefore reducing the risk of transmitting any harm.

The main types of Healthcare PPE available include:

Disposable Aprons, Disposable and Reusable Gowns, Face Shields, Masks Type IIR / KN95 / FFP2 / Type II / N95 standards, Vinyl and Nitrile Gloves, Overshoes, Oversleeves, Coveralls, and Eye Protection or goggles.

Depending on the processes, procedures and practical undertakings within a care home or hospital, will depend on the appropriate PPE available, so it would be best to check with your manager for specific details.

However, the government have supplied various useful information document links to guide social care providers and workers, to ensure safe working during COVID19. This information can be found by CLICKING HERE.  The resources cover how to work safely, how to take on and off PPE, and how to dispose of PPE for example.

There is also specific guidance on what PPE should be used for what tasks within a care home, this can be found by CLICKING HERE.  Due to the high demand for PPE, using the right product at the right time will ensure PPE isn't used incorrectly or potentially wasted.

It is far better to have a good hand hygiene protocol in place than everyone using gloves for instance for every task or to wear generally. As if the user has touched there face, surfaces etc with the gloves, this will be a quick fire way for germs to be spread.  Additionally, removal of gloves needs to be done in a specific way and disposed of correctly.

An interesting recent article in the Independent outlines a personal theory from Dr Karan Raj, via a Tik Tok video that he did, demonstrating to the general public that they don't need to wear gloves for general shopping. Users have complacency by using them and touch more surfaces such as steering wheels, door handles, face etc so increases the risk of spreading germs.

Alongside using the correct PPE, what other measures can be put in place to limit the spread of infection?

The primary barrier to prevent the spread of germs and coronavirus is to undertake regular and thorough hand washing, along with hand sanitisation procedures.  This can be done by using a bactericidal hand soap and after using a hand sanitiser or hand gel.  Hand washing should be done for at least 30 seconds to ensure the soap is activated and hands are clean.

The installation of touch free dispensers in toileting or hand washing facilities, for liquid soaps and hand sanitisers, is a useful measure to adopt as this prevents the risk of spreading germs, on buttons or dispensers tops.  Along with adding dispensers at entry, exit and high capacity areas.

Undertaking a deep clean of all surfaces using virucidal and bactericidal  chemicals, with a  rota for daily cleaning regimes, is the best cause of action for all premises to undertake.

Beaucare have dedicated PPE categories on our website for Healthcare PPE and Infection Control PPE, products are in stock and available for next day delivery. Our National Trainer, Vicki Crombleholme can assist in advice on cleaning regimes and chemicals to use if required. To discuss your requirements or buy in bulk, contact our customer service advisers on 01423 873666.

Other useful links and resources can be found below: